Great Shot

1966: World Cup Goes Cold for Pele

Soccer - World Cup England 1966 - Group Three - Portugal v Brazil - Goodison Park

The Great Pele is inextricably linked to Brazil’s greatest World Cup moments. Over the years we’ve become accustomed to seeing his face and his flair gracing hundreds of photos and clips as Brazil won three World Cups between 1958 and 1970.

This one is a bit different however; Here an injured Pele trudges off the Goodison Park pitch as his side are defeated 3-1 by Portugal during the 1966 World Cup. It was Brazil’s final group game and having been beaten by the same scoreline by Hungary four days earlier they had to win against Portugal to stay in the tournament.

This day belonged to another legend though, Eusebio, who scored twice as the Brazilians were eliminated at the group stage – their worst ever performance at a World Cup.

 

 

 

AC Milan of 50 Years Ago…
The Rossoneri are Campioni of Europe for the First Time

Milan1964-VctorBentezGilbertoNolettiJosAltafiniGianniRiveraCesareMaldiniDarioBarluzziGiovanniTrapattoniAmarildoBrunoMoraAmbrogioPelagalliGiotop: Víctor Benítez, Gilberto Noletti, José Altafini, Gianni Rivera, Cesare Maldini, Dario Barluzzi; bottom: Giovanni Trapattoni, Amarildo, Bruno Mora, Ambrogio Pelagalli, Giovanni Lodetti.

Here is a fantastic photo of the AC Milan team from 50 years ago. At the time they were European Champions having beaten Benfica 2-1 at Wembley in 1963. It was Benfica’s third successive final and they quickly took the lead through the brilliant Eusebio, but José Altafini scored twice in the second half to give the Rossoneri the first of their seven European Cups.

Milan had made it to Wembley by defeating Ipswich Town in the earlier rounds before coming up against the might of Dundee, managed by Bill Shankly’s brother Bob, in the semi finals. A 5-1 triumph in the San Siro proved too much to overhaul for the Scottish Champions but they did win the second leg 1-0 through an Alan Gilzean goal in front of over 35,000 packed into Dens Park.

The Milan side featured two future Azzurri managers in Giovanni Trapattoni and Cesare Maldini, father of another Milan legend Paulo Maldini.

 

Fulham Tell Ray To Get On His Bike…

WilkinsBike

Fulham FC continued to cement their position as the laughing stock of the Premier League with the dismissal of first team coaches Ray Wilkins and Alan Curbishley this week, both of whom had been with the club for a couple of months.

The Cottagers also announced that Tomas Oral and Werner Leuthard have arrived at the west London side to become first team coach and conditioning coach, respectively.

On Friday it was revealed that boss Rene Meulensteen, a veteren of 17 games, was being replaced by Wolfgang Felix Magath. Former Bayern Munich coach Magath signed an 18-week  sorry, 18-month contract with the Premier League’s bottom side last week.

Once we heard the ever affable Ray was on his bike we immediately thought of this Great Shot of him riding his new Raleigh Chopper around the Chelsea training ground back in 1975.

With his departure this week Ray may well be the first person to ever cycle off a sinking ship…

 

 

He’d Love It If You Bought His Hot Pants! Keegan Peddles His Gear In This Vintage Photo

Kevin-Keegan-in-1978-with-a-young-lady-modeling-Keegan’s-own-line-of-hotpants.

Here is Kevin Keegan in 1978 with a young lady modeling Keegan’s very own line of hotpants. Keegan cuts a dashing figure in this shot, as only a man born on Valentine’s Day surely could.

We’re not exactly sure who this young lady is but it would seem a good bet that the pair met at the hairdressers…

1978 was a memorable year for Mighty Mouse as Keegan went on the win the Bundesliga championship with Hamburg – their first title in nineteen years – and he was voted European player of the year for 1977-78.

 

Bobby Collins Remembered
Horrendous Broken Thigh Injury Cut Short Career at Leeds

collinsfarewell

Everyone at BOBBY was saddened to hear that former Scotland midfielder Bobby Collins had died at the age of 82.

Collins started his career with Celtic, where he broke into the team as a 17 year old and played 320 matches scoring 116 goals before Everton paid a club-record £23,500 fee for his services in 1958.

Four years later he moved to Leeds for a similar fee and helped the Yorkshire side win promotion to the top flight in 1964 under Don Revie.

Collins, who was only 5ft 3in tall, played 31 times for Scotland finding the net on 10 occasions.

In our Great Shot the Leeds and Morton players applaud Bobby Collins onto the pitch before a pre-season Friendly at Greenock Morton in 1971, in tribute to his outstanding service to Leeds United FC.

Collins was awarded ‘Footballer of the Year’ in 1965 for his role in a season that nearly saw Leeds win the double but miss out on both trophies by the slimmest of margins.

But his time at Leeds was cut short when in 1966 he suffered a terrible injury playing against Torino in a Fairs Cup tie.  In the 50th minute Torino defender Fabrizio Poletti ‘tackled’ United’s inspirational captain resulting in him suffering the almost unheard of injury of a broken thigh.

Billy Bremner was very distressed and described the incident thus; “I was so upset, I found myself weeping, and had the chance come my way, I would have ‘done’ the player who had so crippled my teammate.”

Bremner admitted to losing his head and saying to Poletti “I’ll kill you for this.” Poletti got the message as he stayed well out of reach for the rest of the match.

However, Bremner later observed, “The incident taught me something. I have never since that day gone on to the field with such feelings as I had then. That day, blinding anger and passion got the better of me and obscured my better judgement. If I had tangled with that Italian player in a fight for possession of the ball, I could not have been responsible for my actions. The foul had been so unnecessary and was so obviously vindictive. Bobby had been ten yards from the ball when he had been quite literally jumped on.”

Of that battle with Torino, Paul Madeley recalled: “None of us had ever experienced just how cynical foreign players could be and it was a really tough battle. One horrendous challenge broke Bobby’s thigh and ultimately finished his Leeds career. We were determined to progress and did incredibly well to come away with a draw, but the occasion was ruined by Bobby’s injury because he was so influential to the side.”

Although substitutes had been introduced into English Football for the first time that season, they were still not allowed in European competition and Leeds had to fight on bravely with ten men. They managed to hang on to their one goal lead from the first leg, keeping the Italians scoreless and the 0-0 draw was sufficient to see United through to the next round.

The horrendous injury sustained by Bobby Collins was ultimately the end of his time at United,  he did comeback, playing the last game of the season at Old Trafford, but only played seven more games in the following season. Manager Don Revie then gave Johnny Giles the chance to take on the Collins mantle.

No one could doubt that Collins played his part in the emergence of Leeds United as a force in English and European football, leading by example with a never-say-die attitude of grit and determination which was to be the hallmark of Leeds United teams for years to come.

After leaving Leeds Collins had a two year stint with Bury before departing for a short period back in his native Scotland with Greenock Morton, where he doubled up as a scout for Revie and recommended Joe Jordan. Jordan went on to become a respected striker with Leeds, Manchester United, Milan and Scotland.

After hanging up his boots for good Collins had brief managerial stints with Huddersfield, Hull and Barnsley.

 

by Karl Hofer.

 

 

Jimmy To The Rescue!
BOBBY Recalls Classic 4-4 North London Derby from 1963

Soccer - League Division One - Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur - Highbury

15th October 1963: Jimmy Greaves walks away after helping to tend to a fan who fainted before kick-off at the Arsenal v Tottenham match at Highbury. The 67,857 crammed into the stadium had filled it to capacity.

Greaves went on to open the scoring as Spurs stormed into a 4-2 lead at the interval with further goals from Bobby Smith (2) and Dave Mackay – Eastham twice pulling the Gunners within 2 in response.

With only five minutes remaining Tottenham still held the two goal lead acquired in the first half but Arsenal pulled one back through Baker and then equalised with a header from Strong at a corner with only twenty seconds of injury time remaining. For the third time in five years the North London derby had ended 4-4.

In the end the point was sufficient to take Tottenham to the top of the First Division, but after that finish it was Arsenal who felt like the victors that night.

 

Martin in Jol-lier times…

Martin Jol  -  West Bromwich Albion

(Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images)

Martin Jol joined the ever growing list of managers who have lost their jobs already this season when Fulham dismissed him earlier this month after a string of poor performances.

Our photo of him captures him in happier times; it’s November 1981 and the Dutch midfielder has just joined West Bromich Albion, and he’s posing with a ball next to a sign that bears his name (sort of).

After the astonishing sacking of Steve Clarke could the Jol-ly fella end up back at the Hawthorns as their new boss..?

It’s certainly a possibility…

 

 

From Mandela’s Cell to Freedom on World Stage

idolos2

by John Dillon (originally published in December 2009)

A high prison watchtower still stands ­sentry over the pitch. Chain fencing and rolls of razorwire still surround it. The fierce southern sun burns its ­ windswept scrub and sand ­surface. The bare metal ­ goalposts remain erect.

Robben Island prison has been left much as it was when it was the world’s most notorious political jail. There are few beds in the sleeping blocks, for example, because the inmates were made to lie on the cold, concrete floors.

Nelson Mandela’s tiny former cell, number seven in B Section, has only a couple of thin, worn blankets and a small table and the barred iron door is slammed shut, as it was on him for 18 years.

It is like this so you get its full, horrific impact. So that, as you look around in stunned silence, you feel like your insides have been smashed hollow and you have to fight to hold back the tears.

Yesterday, some of the men who served time there, breaking rocks and defying torture and inhumanity alongside Mandela, went back to relive a story which surely qualifies as the most astonishing and uplifting tale in all the glorious history of football.

This bleak, storm-battered place, with its pitch so rough and with the sights of the warders’ rifles trained upon it, was the most unlikely and unpromising setting there has ever been for the running of an organised version of the game the world loves so profoundly.

This is what happened, however. It ran from 1966 until the jail shut down in 1991. It operated to strict FIFA rules, with referees, weekly subs and management and disciplinary committees. South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma was a referee. Under the auspices of the Makana FA, named after a chief imprisoned on the island in the 19th century, there were three divisions with promotion and relegation and the season ran for nine months every Saturday afternoon, without fail.

“Football was critical to our survival,” a former prisoner, Tokyo Sexwale, said yesterday. “It was how we kept the human spirit and our minds together. It was our tool of resistance.

“We defied every rule of Apartheid and that’s why we were in jail. But there was one form of authority we would not deny and that was FIFA’s. That was because it was our way of fighting back.

“At first, the prison wouldn’t even let us have footballs. We had to battle even for that. So by following the rules so strictly, we were showing our power, showing what we could do even under such adverse conditions.”

10-mandela-boxing-gt

Mandela liked to box and he recognised the important unifying qualities of sport.

In this way, the game saved the souls of men locked away for their beliefs. It also played a part in their victory over oppression. It helped give these happily ageing former freedom fighters such as Sexwale and Anthony Suze, who was also here yesterday, the bearing of unmistakable dignity with which they recalled their story.

And no, none of this is any exaggeration or abandonment of perspective of the kind which so often litters thinking about sport. Without it, South Africa might still be under the near-Nazi rule of Apartheid. In a season in English football scarred by the misguided sense of “passion” which has turned the stands into seething pits of finger-jabbing hate and abuse, could there be a more significant lesson pointing out how hollow and pitiful is all that snarling behaviour?

In a winter which has erupted into a global debate on cheating in the wake of Thierry Henry’s infamous handball, is it not a reminder that we shouldn’t really require video cameras and refereeing spies in the sky to have a game?

Do not dismiss such ideas as over-grand, over-emotional outbursts prompted by unrealistic wishful thinking and the salutary effects of an intense day out, by the way. Football is in need of some lessons drawn from its fabulous heart.

Supporters are curdling the game they profess to love as the fury in Row H becomes increasingly hostile and frenzied. The players are driving the sport towards a torturous crisis and a rewriting of the rulebook with their constant diving, play acting and subterfuge.

On Robben Island, they often had only a bundle of tied-up rags to kick around in the cells, even though it was forbidden and regularly earned the inmates a whack from the club-wielding guards who ruled them.

When the World Cup draw is made tonight in Cape Town, some four miles across the big harbour from the island, there will be an undeniable link stretching from the matches its prisoners played through the overthrow of Apartheid to the decision to award the tournament to South Africa.

The same will be true during the eight matches scheduled for the big, glittering Green Point Stadium on the waterfront, which can be seen from Mandela’s former jail.

Without football, the prisoners may not have survived their ordeals. They may not have emerged from incarceration to revolutionise their nation and in so doing, bring it out of sporting isolation. Consequently, there would be no World Cup here next summer.

This is real, not fanciful. And so it utterly vindicates FIFA’s decision to bring the World Cup here.

There were many doubts and fears but now, for all the flak which bombards FIFA, this looks like one of the most forward-thinking and bold acts of sports administration ever taken.

Yesterday, Sepp Blatter announced that president Zuma had been made an honorary FIFA referee and that the Makana FA had been officially recognised by the ruling body. Tokens, yes, but even as small parts of an epic story, they recognise football’s role in the change wrought here.

The organisation no longer exists, of course. For all the right reasons. As Sexwane added yesterday: “It was my privilege in 1991 to declare the Makana FA closed.”

Only those who did time on Robben Island can fully understand the depth of those words.

But from tonight’s draw until the end of the World Cup next July, the ideals and the spirit of the men who played football there will live again.

There will be cheating and fighting and scandal and controversy, of course. But the story of the Makana FA will resonate through it all too. Without it, there would be no World Cup in South Africa.

PS Lightning, fierce winds and heavy rain forced the abandonment of three Premier soccer league fixtures here on Wednesday. And this is summer. Surely, this bodes well for our brave lads, who will feel even more at home next year because the World Cup is in South Africa’s winter time.SSLqFootball was how we kept our human spirit and our minds together’

 

John Dillon, Chief Sports Writer of the Daily Express. Originally published in The Daily Express on Friday December 4, 2009

 

Rice Makes Arsenal Debut
BOBBY Wishes Gunners Legend a Speedy Recovery

PatRiceOrient1978_04

It was on December 2nd 1967 that Pat Rice made his first team debut for Arsenal.

Rice went on to play more than 500 times for the Gunners and also won 49 caps for Northern Ireland. He was part of the defence that won the Double in 1971. In all he played in five FA Cup finals in the 1970s and 80s for Arsenal, and he captained the side Wembley in the 1979 final when they overcame Manchester United.

In all Rice was connected to Arsenal as a player and then a coach for a total of 44 years before retiring in May 2012.

Sadly the club legend and former assistant manager was admitted to hospital last week with cancer.

Everyone at BOBBY wishes Pat all the best and a very speedy recovery.

Our photo shows him in typically combative mood during the 1978 FA Cup semi-final versus Leyton Orient.

The O’s could not live with their London rivals and went down 3-0 at Stamford Bridge in a one-sided Semi-Final.

Malcolm Macdonald scored twice, both times aided by deflections, before Graham Rix completed the scoring midway through the second half.

The Arsenal side that played Leyton Orient, FA Cup Semi Final, Saturday April 8th 1978, Stamford Bridge:

Jennings, Rice, Nelson, Price, O’Leary, Young, Brady, Rix, Macdonald, Stapleton, Hudson

 

Bear Baiting!
We Salute Big Roy Aitken Who Turns 55 This Week

celtic-roy-aitken-340-panini-football-90-football-trading-sticker-28235-pFeed the Bear – My Memories of Roy Aitken

by Andrew Reilly 

 

If Roy Aitken was around in the Celtic team today, he’d be responsible for some of the biggest online fights, twitter feuds and even bar-room brawls in Scottish football. Taking a look at his list of honours at Celtic Park would lead you to believe that Aitken was a player who would have the ‘legend’ title bestowed upon him. 6 league titles, 5 Scottish Cups, 1 league cup, 667 games and 55 goals is the sort of haul most footballers would have been delighted to achieve in their career. The chant “Feed The Bear” would commonly ring round Celtic Park and at away grounds but you’d have plenty of fans pulling their hair out at the same time.

There are certainly enough magic moments where Aitken would drag his team-mates into a game and forward ever forward in the hope of turning defeats into draws and draws into breath-taking late winners. However, there are also enough moments where Aitken’s lack of awareness or over-commitment would cost the team dearly. There is a tendency to consider the 1980s (at least until Souness arrived in the country) as being an era where Aberdeen and Dundee United roamed and conquered. These two teams had an excellent haul and record in this decade but so did Celtic. You could take the statistics to say that Celtic were the biggest team in the 1980s in Scotland, but there could have been so much more silverware at Parkhead in the decade.

A look at the centre-half pairings further north, where McLeish and Miller refereed the game in front of Leighton or where Hegarty and Narey played with class in front of McAlpine, certainly made many Celtic fans jealous. Celtic were never short of attacking endeavour, spirit and creativity but whereas you would expect Aberdeen and United to keep a clean sheet, there was always a fear about Celtic leaking a goal or two. Aitken was a prominent part of that, and a more cultured and calm figure at the back may have seen Celtic win more leagues and achieve European success in the 1980s.

That would be to overlook what Roy Aitken brought to the team, and I’ll be honest, I’m an unashamed fan of The Bear. So much of what I still love and look forward to in football was created on Saturday the 18th of May 1985 at Hampden Park. It was the 100th Scottish Cup final, it was my first ever cup final, and with 15 minutes to go, Celtic were trailing 1-0 to Dundee United.

Manager Davie Hay had already made a bold move, taking off Paul McStay and replacing him with Pierce O’Leary. On the surface, it seemed like a defensive move but in reality, it launched Aitken further up the park, and he pushed Celtic on at every opportunity. A stunning equaliser from Davie Provan, direct from a free-kick, ignited Hampden Park. Even when I close my eyes today, the sight of Tam McAdam swinging on the crossbar in celebration comes to the fore, but more was to come.

1985_SCF_11

Tam McAdam swings off the crossbar in celebration of Provan’s late equaliser at Hampden Park

With about five minutes to go, the ball was ping-ponging around in the middle of United’s half when Aitken seized upon the Adidas Tango. He charged down the right hand side, swung the ball over and Frank McGarvey contorted himself, in the way that only Frank could, and connected with the ball, sending it spinning into the back of the net. United were shell-shocked, and I witnessed my first trophy win as a fan.

The following season, Celtic had a horrendous run of form in the middle of the campaign but clinched the title in the last couple of minutes of the season. An 8 game winning run was topped off by Hearts capitulation at Dens Park. It was the first title I was present to see us win, and you aren’t going to see many better. The following day, watching the TV highlights, the interview of Roy Aitken still sticks in the mind. His line of “we said with 8 games to if we win 8 games, we’ll win the league. We won 8 games, and we won the league.” It was simple football speak from an uncomplicated footballer, but it summed up the passion and drive Aitken had on the field.

AitkenMcDonald

Our photo shows McDonald of Rangers indulging in some bear-baiting, no doubt well aware of the referee’s impending arrival…

Two years later, in the clubs centenary year, Aitken was the captain as the club clinched the double, again, the first double I witnessed as a Celtic fan. Again at Hampden, Aitken was a driving force as we trailed 1-0 to Hearts with two minutes to go. A scrambled goal from a corner kept us in the tie and there was palpable relief at remaining in the cup. Not for Aitken though, he sensed there was a winner in the game and he drove us forward. One more ball into the box, once more Henry Smith in the Hearts goal wilted under Celtic pressure and we were in the final.

That final, oh yes, we were 1-0 down to Dundee United, there was 15 minutes to go, and Celtic won 2-1 with a decidedly late winner. Different days but such a similar outcome and there was such a driving spirit in the team.

From there, things went downhill for Celtic and for Aitken, eventually leaving the club to go down south to Newcastle United.

I saw the Bear at Celtic for around 5 years and even I wouldn’t say they were his biggest years at the club. For older fans, Aitkens performance in 1979 when we beat Rangers 4-2 was the pinnacle. It was the night 10 men won the league after the dismissal of Johnny Doyle and Aitken was a hero. On the final day of the 1981/82 season, Celtic only needed a win at home to St Mirren to clinch the title. At half-time, it was 0-0 at Celtic Park and our nearest rivals Aberdeen were trouncing Rangers. If Celtic failed to win and Aberdeen could add one more goal to the four they had scored by half-time, Celtic would lose out. It was before my time, but even the video footage of the second showed how much it meant to Aitken and how much he drove the team forward. Celtic ended up running out 3-0 winners and Celtic Park celebrated once again.

$(KGrHqFHJF!E+(hRZ+uVBQfy+Ps5qw~~60_35Fans who didn’t like Aitken can write the same style of article as I have, swapping the bad for the good. The (harsh) red card at Hampden in the 1984 final, the inability to clear the danger against Partizan Belgrade and countless slips, careless passes and being caught out of position which cost us when a calmer head would have prevailed led many to take a dislike to Aitken.

I have absolutely no problem when people say that they didn’t actually like Aitken as a Celtic player. That’s their choice, not for me though. Even in the years I watched him play for the club, my formative years as a football fan, Aitken was a leader, an inspiration, and he was partly responsible for so many of the happiest days of my life. As a fan, there isn’t that much more you can ask for than that. Happy birthday Roy!

 

Andrew Reilly has written two books on Celtic; The Spirit of 86 and We Walked Away With It, both are available through Amazon (click on the book titles to view on Amazon).